Oil Painting Restoration Completed!

The Conspirators (1867), an oil painting by Lew Wallace of the men who conspired to assassinate Abraham Lincoln
The Conspirators (1867) by Lew Wallace

We are pleased to announce the completion of an extensive oil painting restoration project!

Grant Funding

In 2017, we successfully secured two grants for the restoration of oil paintings owned by the museum. A priority assessment was funded by the Indiana Historical Society and made possible by the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Using the results of the assessment, museum staff selected 7 paintings and several frames to be restored with a grant from the Montgomery County Community Foundation (MCCF). Two of the oil paintings restored, thanks to MCCF, were by Lew Wallace, Love Triumphant and Cows in the River.

The museum also received a Heritage Support Grant in 2017 that was provided by the Indiana Historical Society and made possible by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. As a result of the Heritage Support Grant, we were able to complete restoration of the two largest paintings in the collection—The Turkish Princess and The Conspirators.

Oil Paintings Restored

Sultan Abdul Hamid II of the Ottoman Empire gave The Turkish Princess to Lew Wallace. C.L. Müller painted The Turkish Princess. The painting appears to be watching visitors as they move around the Study interior. The Conspirators, the largest painting done by Lew Wallace, is an iconic depiction is of the men, including John Wilkes Booth and Lewis Payne, who conspired to assassinate Abraham Lincoln and attack other members of the cabinet in 1865.

The paintings selected for restoration were of critical concern because of structural issues and active deterioration. Art and frame conservators cleaned the items, repaired damage, and fully restored them. Thanks to the work of the art and frame conservators, these paintings have been cleaned, repaired, and fully restored so that they can be now be safely on display in the Wallace Study as they have been for 120 years. These paintings were extraordinarily significant to Lew Wallace and it is important for the mission of the museum to protect and preserve these parts of the Wallace collection.

The Turkish Princess, an oil painting by C.L. Muller, presented to Lew Wallace by Sultan Abdul Hamid II
The Turkish Princess, artist unknown, presented to Lew Wallace by Sultan Abdul Hamid II

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